After the current – and very low-rated – installment of The Apprentice ends its run, NBC could go with a three-hour block of comedies on Thursdays.
Sources told EW that the Peacock may shake up the lineup, with 30 Rock possibly moving to 10 p.m., to make way for the return of the critically-beloved Parks and Recreation and the new comedy Perfect Couples, which has been described as depicting “the misadventures of three engaging couples as they struggle to find out what makes the ideal relationship — and how to maintain it through humorous trial-and-error.” NBC’s other cult faves – The Office and Community - would likely remain in their timeslots, while Outsourced could go at 10:30 after 30 Rock. NBC would not comment, but the possibility of a lineup change certainly piqued the interest of the competing networks. Says one high powered suit, “They’ve got nothing to lose at this point.”
There’s still a chance that NBC could move a Law & Order into the important 10 p.m. timeslot on Thursdays since it owns a piece of the legal franchise, but a three-hour comedy block would create buzz and provide good counter-programming to the stiff competition from The Mentalist and Private Practice. And this wouldn’t be the first time that NBC ran six comedies. During the 1990-91 season, then-NBC topper Brandon Tartikoff scheduled Parenthood, Working it Out, The Golden Girls, Empty Nest, Carol & Company and American Dreamer on Saturday nights.
Meanwhile, the current installment of The Apprentice has been a big disappointment for the Peacock. Though the network attempted to reboot the franchise to make it more applicable to the ailing economy, the show has hit historic lows this season. It ticked up on Nov. 11 (up 14 percent to a 1.6 rating/5 share among adults 18-49, and averaging 4.5 million), but NBC’s numbers were inflated because of an NFL game in Baltimore.